When planning your estate, it can be tempting to make a holographic will. These wills don’t have to be made by an attorney and can feel a lot more personal. They also don’t require two witnesses to be considered valid. All you would need is someone who could verify that it’s your handwriting.
Holographic wills also come with a lot of drawbacks. Because no one has deemed it valid or signed it as a witness, your will might be debated and put to trial, putting your final wishes at risk. In Texas, it doesn’t take much to challenge a holographic will.
What do I need to make a holographic will valid?
There are a few requirements to writing a holographic will. These requirements include but are not limited to:
- Being 18 years old OR married OR in the military; could also be all three, but needs to meet a minimum of at least one of these requirements
- Being aware of all the property and assets you own and where it should go after you die
- Understanding that you are writing a will and state so in the document
What else do I need to know?
The holographic will as part of estate planning has to be handwritten, so you should take care to make sure you write very neatly and consistently. You’ll need to sign and date the will at the bottom as well as the top. The opening line of your will should state that you are of sound mind and body.
Somewhere in your will, you’ll want to make it clear that all wills dated before this one are now invalid, and you should title this new holographic will very clearly with your name and what it is. If you have any other questions, an estate planning attorney may be able to help you.